COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a respiratory health condition. It refers to a group of progressive lung diseases that block air flow and make breathing difficult. Some of these ailments are emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma.
Exercise is the best natural solution to maintain good health. But it is a common misconception that for people suffering from COPD who experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, frequent coughing and tightness in the chest, exercising is not possible. This is not necessarily true.
Even in the case of people affected by COPD, exercising can be a very good thing to do. In fact engaging in low to moderate intensity aerobic exercises can actually show positive results in COPD patients by increasing their oxygen intake and flow.
Today we tell you about some of the exercises that work to improve cardiovascular fitness and can be beneficial for those living with COPD.
If one knows how to swim and has access to a pool, then swimming is one of the best exercises that can help COPD patients and bring about an improvement in their condition. The effort required to swim builds endurance and increases strength of the muscles, which is important for improving the heart and lung capacity. At the same time swimming is an enjoyable activity so one is more likely to stick with it as an exercise routine.
More and more people are taking to cycling as a form of exercise for experiencing a range of health benefits. Bicycling is a good aerobic exercise for COPD patients as it activates large muscle groups and improves breathing. You can choose to cycle outdoors or use an indoor exercise cycle. Just make sure you do the exercise as per your capacity. Always warm up first. Take it slow to begin with and build up workout intensity gradually. Keep track of your progress and monitor your heart rate.
Regular walking is the simplest as well as the most underrated form of exercise towards achieving good health and vitality, as it has multiple health benefits. For people with COPD regular brisk walking is good because this low intensity cardio exercise increases the heart rate and improves the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood more efficiently to all vital organs and parts of the body. Hence walking improves cardio respiratory fitness by making the heart and lungs strong and will definitely benefit those with COPD.
One should start with modest walking distance, rest when tired and out of breath and gradually increase the walking distance bit by bit every day. It is a good idea to find a walking buddy or join a walking group to get motivated and stay regular.
Yoga as a form of exercise keeps both body and mind fit. It builds physical strength and flexibility, improves endurance and enhances a person’s energy level. There is also a lot of focus on correct breathing while practising yoga asanas. For these reasons practising yoga can be really beneficial for those suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Yoga practise also helps to relax the muscles and soothe the nerves with a calming effect on the mind, thereby reducing stress and anxiety which can give a person dealing with COPD a healthier and positive outlook towards life.
So even if you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease you can definitely work towards improving your health and make it easier to complete your daily activities by doing these exercises regularly. However, before starting with any kind of exercise people with COPD must definitely consult a doctor first to understand what kind of an exercise program will suit their individual condition and how best to go about it.
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